What Is The Best Food For Losing Weight?
I remember back in the day I used to have sheets of paper of different foods I was comparing. One sheet would be the best Proteins I found through comparisons and another sheet would be Carbohydrates. At the time I didn’t know the importance of Healthy fats like I do now.
With protein, I would try and find the foods that have the highest amounts of Protein per 4 ounces while still having very low fat and Sodium. This was pretty similar with Carbohydrates but paying closer attention to the sugar levels. There is a lot of confusion when people ask me What Is The Best Food For Losing Weight?
One of the reasons is you can read one article by a nutritionist that is the exact opposite another nutritionist says. For example would be Egg Yolks.
I’ve heard so many different opinions over the years saying Egg Yolks are good for you and some saying they are bad for you. My honest opinion after doing so much research is to just really focus on eliminating the VERY bad foods from your diet. I will however share what I have learned over the years with you today and what foods I believe will help you lose the most weight.
This was worth it for me to put in all the time comparing everything because there is no better way to learn. Knowing that if I spent hours and days and even weeks crunching numbers then I would have the information for life and never have to go through this grueling process again. A lot of people ask me what and how I eat. My answer is always, ” I eat clean”.
Of course this isn’t the answer anyone is looking for because they don’t know what eating clean means. Today I will explain to you what eating clean is and how it has kept me in great shape over the years since I started working out.
IS DIET REALLY IMPORTANT FOR WEIGHT LOSS?
You may have heard a trainer or someone in the Fitness industry say this common saying, “Diet is Everything”. Personally I think that is spot on but realistically it’s not everything but the most important thing if you want to lose weight or gain muscle.
A very common question I get is how to build abs or get them to show. The response I usually give is, ” Abs are made in the kitchen”. Some of you may have heard that over the years and yes it’s true.
If you are not eating clean and healthy than your body fat percentage will not be low enough.
When your body fat isn’t low enough the bottom line is your abs will not show. For example, you could do 1000 sit ups a day for 6 months but if you are eating horrible every day those abs are going to be hidden.
Some say Diet is 80% and exercise is the other 20%. I can’t disagree with this although there really is no exact number. If I had to give a percentage in my opinion from what I have learned over the years it would be somewhere around there. Think about it, if you had 2 choices……
CHOICE 1 Eat horrible all year consuming tons of fast food, sodas, alcohol, sugary foods and bad carbs but also being able to exercise constantly throughout the year.(Bad Diet With exercise)
CHOICE 2 Eat extremely clean all year long staying away from fast food, sodas, alcohol, sugary foods and bad carbs but NOT being able to exercise all year long.(Good Diet With no exercise)
Which one would you choose? I personally would choose CHOICE 2 in a heartbeat. How do you think you would look at the end of the year in each scenario? From all my years of experimenting I know how I would look in each scenario.
In choice 1 I would have put on a belly and not to mention there is a strong chance of some healthy problems. In choice 2 I would be lean but not too much muscle mass and higher natural energy levels.
So hopefully this example paints a better picture of why diet is much more important overall. If you need to lose a lot of weight I would recommend focusing on lots of cardio and a good diet. I’m not saying exercise and weight training isn’t important but you need to lower your body fat percentage before you can see those muscle gains.
WHAT IS THE BEST FOOD FOR LOSING WEIGHT?
In my opinion there is no single best food but I can definitely recommend some of the overall best ones that will help you lose weight. I’m going to break them up in to 4 different categories.
The idea is to eat well-balanced meals with these 4 different categories included in each one. If you can combine 1 food from each group then you are on your way to a healthy lifestyle and losing weight.
Keep in mind even though these foods are healthy, you still have to monitor your portion size. You could eat the healthiest foods all year but if you are consuming 10,000 calories a day of them and NO exercise….YOU WILL GAIN WEIGHT!
I have another post HERE that explains how many calories you should be consuming.
Without overwhelming you I will pick what I think are the top 3 in each category. With these top 3 I will also list the ones that I find the most affordable. I could throw something like Salmon on there which is extremely healthy but it’s not necessarily in every ones budget.
CATEGORY 1 PROTEIN
- Chicken Breast with no skin and not frying it. You can bake it or throw it on the grill with some healthy marinade options. Just be careful if you eat out because the restaurants usually load it up with salt for taste. Another things to look out for is Organic. Farmers can pump the birds with stuff to make them grow faster.
- Eggs are some of the healthiest foods you can eat. They are very high in quality protein, essential vitamins/minerals and healthy fats. One large egg only contains around 80 calories. Also, high protein foods have been known to make you feel more full. This is why I love eggs, high protein, low calories.
- Tuna is another low calorie high protein food. Tuna canned in Oil is a higher calorie count, so make sure you look for it being canned in water. Tuna is one of the best option if you are looking for a low cost good source of protein. Another great thing about Tuna for weight loss is it is basically Carbohydrate free!
CATEGORY 2 CARBOHYDRATES
Keep in mind you still want to keep the amount of carbs low for weight loss, especially if you want to do the low Carb Ketogenic Diet I personally consume most of my carbs an hour before I workout for energy. Confused what good and bad carbs are? I wrote an article explaining HERE
- Oatmeal is extremely healthy for you and possible the healthiest whole grain that exists. Oats contain more protein than most grains. They are very filling which helps for weight loss. TIP: Don’t by the prepackaged ones with like Brown Sugar or Strawberry flavor since they are loaded with sugar. I highly recommend looking into Stevia.
- Quinoa is a very good source of protein and fiber which is great for weight loss because this will make you feel full. One serving of Quinoa is only around 170 calories. Quinoa is also high in Vitamin B 12 and Iron which provides energy and weight loss.
- Sweet Potatoes are one of my favorite carbs because I feel like I’m cheating but I’m really not. The high amount of Fiber, low calorie content, and high amount of water make them a great food for weight loss. You should BOIL your sweet Potatoes and not BAKE them. Baking takes out like 80% of the Vitamin A levels and increases the glycemic index. The head breaks down the starch and allows your body to convert it into sugar, which spikes your blood sugar levels. .
CATEGORY 3 FATS
- Avocados are a great source of fiber and low in carbs. They are low in carbs with each serving containing only 9 grams of carbs, 7 of which come from fiber.
- Nuts like Almonds, Pistachios, Brazil nuts, Walnuts, Cashews and Peanuts. They are rich in protein, fiber, healthy fats, minerals and vitamins which helps burn belly fat and lose weight. Almonds are my go to because they contain L- arginine which can help you burn more carbs and fats during your workout.
- Coconut oil has lots of studies that show adding it into your diet can help lose fat. Have you heard the word MCT oil before? This means Medium Chain Triglycerides and what is extracted from coconut oil. HERE is a great one I use and recommend. MCT is metabolized differently than most other fats, leading to beneficial effects on metabolism.
CATEGORY 4 FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
- APPLES contain a lot of water at around 85% which will make you feel full and reduce your calorie intake. One of the best sources of filling fiber to make you feel full.
- GRAPEFRUIT only contains 40 calories and 65% of your recommended daily intake of Vitamin C for just eating half of one. With a very low glycemic index it releases sugar into the bloodstream more slowly.
- BANANAS are a great source of fiber and a high fiber intake has been associated with losing weight. I highly recommend not letting them get too ripe because ripe bananas contain mostly sugars. Something I like to do is freeze them before they get too rip and put them in my smoothies.
- VEGETABLES I can’t pick just three of these because I always recommend unlimited vegetables. There are so many healthy options and not really any bad options.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON FOODS THAT HELP LOSE WEIGHT
The biggest thing to keep in mind even if you are eating just these healthy options is portion size. Like I mentioned earlier you still have to monitor your calorie intake. Try picking 1 from each group and meal prepping for the week with it.
Going back to when I said eating clean, you still have to be careful how you prepare these foods.
Adding in a lot of unnecessary salt or butter can defeat the whole purpose. Often times people tell me they are just eating a lot of salads. This is a great example of something you can actually be gaining weight and not even know it.
About 10 years ago I added up the total calorie count with a salad that had toppings like cheese, croutons, and a good amount of unhealthy calorie dense salad dressing.
The outcome was all the topping were equal to that of half a Big Mac.
So basically eating a salad is a healthy option but whatever you put on top of it can once again defeat the whole purpose of eating clean. Throwing some more vegetables in and some Balsamic Vinaigrette is an example of the clean eating way to have a salad.
A good protein I mentioned earlier Tuna can also be thrown on a salad. If you are having Tuna by itself and add a ton of Mayonnaise then this is another example of going from eating clean to not eating clean.
I know, like everyone always tells me it just doesn’t taste as good. There are ways to get very creative and eat healthy and still have it tastes good.
The reality is you are not going to enjoy eating clean as much as eating however you want.
This is part of the discipline it takes to get into great shape and lose weight. I have spent many weeks and months eating bare chicken breast or plain egg white and people think I’m crazy. This actually isn’t that challenging for me because I see what the outcome can be and the results.